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Episode 68: Expat in Hoaglandia: A Fantasia of NASA Conspiracies

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Recap: My first returning guest - and my first guest ever - is the pseudononymous "Expat" who produced numerous programs for the BBC about the Apollo-era space program. He has spent his semi-retirement battling pseudoscience espoused by Richard Hoagland and Mike Bara, and in this podcast we discuss several of the more conspiratorial NASA-related claims of Richard Hoagland and his followers.

Answer to Puzzler from Episode 67: To not take away from the interview, this will be discussed in Episode 69.

Puzzler for Episode 68: There was no puzzler in Episode 68.

Q&A: There was no Q&A for this episode.

New News:

  • Forgot to mention last episode that just a week or so after I released my podcast on the Schumann Resonance, I got a flurry of e-mails, Tweets, and Facebook messages the following Tuesday that Brian Dunning had followed me up and done his own episode on the Schumann Resonance. As usual, he took a slightly different approach than I, and I do recommend listening to it for an additional perspective. He had some interesting points about some of the more so-called "alternative medicine" claims about it. (Episode 66)

Additional Materials:


"Expat" is an author and former TV documentary producer. He was a science producer of the BBC's television coverage of the Apollo moon landings, and went on to write and produce some 20 science documentaries including four major reports on the US and Russian space programs. He has met and interviewed the majority of the key figures from Apollo-era NASA -- managers, scientists, engineers and astronauts. Expat was my first guest on this podcast, for Episode 10 back on November 10, 2011, where he talked about some of Mike Bara's idea. This episode, he's back to talk about some of the more political and technological conspiracies of Richard Hoagland.

Because this was an interview, there is no transcript. However, these are the guiding questions that were asked:

Question: There are several often-repeated claims made by Richard Hoagland regarding conspiracies related to NASA and the space program in general. I'd like to cover those in the beginning before getting to a few other questions. The first claim that I'd like to discuss is the one that NASA originated and was formed as part of the US Department of Defense. What's the basis for this and is it real?

Question: The second frequent claim by Hoagland is that NASA is run by Nazis "at the top." What's going on with this claim?

Question: Another frequent claim is that people "in charge" at NASA are ardent numerologists who worship the Egyptian gods. What's his evidence for this, and is it a valid claim?

Question: The fourth very frequent refrain is that Neil Armstrong, who died last year and is perhaps the most famous American astronaut, made a speech once at the White House where he compared himself to a parrot. Richard makes the claim that Armstrong was trying to tell us that he was effectively just saying stuff he was told to, that he was hiding what he allegedly "really" saw on the Moon. What's the context for the quote, and what was he really saying?

Question: The fifth claim that Richard makes practically every-other speaking engagement is that the Brookings Report has been guiding NASA policy since the 1960s and means they can never tell We the People if they ever found evidence for aliens - either current or extinct. What's going on here?

Question: Shifting gears, for maybe the last decade, Richard has been going around the world making what he calls are key measurements of his torsion field which is a manifestation of his hyperdimensional physics (see Episode 26 for more on that). To make these measurements, he is using an Accutron watch. You've posted a lot on your blog about these experiments, and we could probably easily do a whole hour just on these. In the interest of time, could you explain in maybe 10 minutes or so what he's claiming to do, what he's actually doing, and whether this backs up his claims of his torsion field?

Question (from Mike B.): What are some of the origins of the "NASA conspiracy?" Do they originate with life on Mars conspiracies, or maybe the Moon landing hoax, or back to Werner von Braun and Nazis, or does the conspiracy stuff go further back?

Question (from Steve B. from the UK // Yorkshire Pud on CoastGab): What do you think about getting into a live, televised debate with Richard Hoagland or Mike Bara on a mainstream show such as something on CNN? Clearly something on Coast to Coast likely won't happen, especially since Mike Bara, last time he was on, explicitly stated he would never listen to someone like me. But do you think anything could be begatten from perhaps a real, moderated debate between either of them and yourself?

Discussion Question (from ziznak, CoastGab forum, paraphrased due to language): What is the "end game" with Hoagland. What would have to happen for you, and for me, to finally say, "gotcha" and then walk off into the sunset?

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